Success Story

Kids And A Mortgage – What Better Time To Become A Freelancer? By Marv Gisser

We had four kids, a mortgage, car payments and assorted bills. What better time to become a full-time freelance writer? I neglected to mention I also had a wife - a very supportive wife - who still remains very supportive. Of course, when I told her I'd be working at home, she went out and got a job. …

Passion, Homework, Confidence By Katherine Hauswirth

Two framed check stubs sit side by side in my office. The first, for $5.00, recalls the first time I got paid to write what I love. There were numerous small steps that followed, and I often doubted I would break into the "big time" publications whose recognition I so craved. …

If at First You Don’t Succeed, Do Your Own Thing By ChaChanna Simpson

About a year ago I came up with a brilliant idea. I was going to write an advice column for twentysomethings and every newspaper and magazine was going to want my column in their publication. With my newfound career as a columnist, I just knew I was going to be able to lay back and make a killing by writing my world-renowned column. I did my research on how to submit a column, wrote my query and six sample articles and after sending it to two papers and getting turned down because of budget reasons, I became discouraged. I don't have much patience (what twentysomething does?). Then I got my new issue of WritersWeekly.com and read the success story, I Am the Publisher by Pamela White who started a food ezine. I began to think: Why should I wait for the papers to realize my column is a great idea? To heck with them, I'll do it myself. That is when Twentity.com was born. …

Selling Ads in Books By Patti Miller

My secret to selling ads in my books is to write about a specific locale and to then sell ads to businesses in that area. …

How I Reinvented Writing (or I Am Shocked; Absolutely Shocked!) By Kathryn Howard

How I Reinvented Writing (or I Am Shocked; Absolutely Shocked!) By Kathryn Howard

I was a successful technical writer, but even with freelance work I never thought I was a true "writer." I am a red-haired, Barry-Manilow-loving mom of two. I also have bipolar disorder. Full-time tech writing and coordinating a post-9/11 letter writing campaign worked me into a relapse of the disorder and I fell apart. I lost my job, went on disability, and was diagnosed with traumatic brain injury (I couldn't use some forms of verbal and written communication) after receiving electroshock. …

My Success Story By Joei Carlton Hossack

'Think outside the box' is such a cliche' these days. I wasn't thinking outside the box when I was asked to write the story, I was (kind of thinking) outside my clothes. I had gone to a nudist colony for the first time. In the conversation pool that afternoon I met the webmaster for the Michigan park where I was staying. When he learned that it was my first visit and that I was a writer he asked me to write a story about it. Of course, I said "yes." The story was done within two days and e-mailed to him. He was thrilled with my comments and posted them on the park's website. …

I’m Not Afraid of Judgement or Rejection By Carolyn Rhodes

The old woman caught my eye one morning on my way to school. I was in the 8th grade and had just turned 13. She called to me from her porch rocking chair and startling me out of my morning daydream as she asked, "Penny for your thoughts?" I can still remember her little wrinkled face and thought she must have been 100 years old. I politely smiled, yet continued to walk faster. I wondered if she could read my mind. …

Breaking Into Newspapers By Nicole Feliciano

The Baltimore Sun's Travel Editor called in January with some fantastic news--they were planning to run a short essay and photo I submitted to them. My piece and 4x6 photo ran on Sunday, February 20th! …

A Wise Woman Learns From Others by Joei Carlton Hossack

I am a wise woman. It is not because I have all the answers that I consider myself wise. It is because I prefer learning from others than making all my own mistakes. I developed my philosophy from an accountant I knew when I opened my first business. She said, "People will tell you that everything you do for your business is tax deductible. They are right. It is tax deductible but it is deductible from YOUR PROFITS." She was a wise woman and I have conducted several successful businesses with those words echoing in my brain. …

A Freelancer’s Dream Fulfilled By Shaunna Privratsky

When do you know for sure that you have made it as a freelance writer? Is it that burst of incredulous joy when you land your first assignment? When you hold your first book in your hand and smell that crisp new-book smell? Maybe it is the first time you answer the question "What do you do?" by saying "I am a writer." …

Success in My Own Backyard By Kim Paton

In Bleak House, Charles Dickens coined the phrase "telescopic philanthropy." It stands for the phenomenon of failing to see what occurs in your own back yard before setting your sights on more exotic locales. As a writer, I suffered from it and neglected my local markets for too long. …

My Writing Life Began at 60 By Suzanne G. Beyer

My first introduction to our area senior citizen publication was noticing the colorful photo on the front page. Examining the magazine further, I found helpful articles on travel, health, finances, local fairs and festivals, humor, recipes, and reminiscings. The magazine appealed to the 50- through 100-year-old set. I was fascinated. …

Persistence and Networking! By Ramona Richards

Persistence and Networking! By Ramona Richards

Five years ago, I faced a heart-wrenching dilemma. My daughter Rachel, who is severely disabled, was going downhill in a hurry. I was working as an in-house editor, and our days were long, grueling, and stress-filled. I'm a single mom, and although I have a nurse who works with Rachel at night, my deadlines and my concerns about my daughter were pushing me to a breaking point. …

The Week from Heaven By C. Hope Clark

Last week was a bummer - mistakes in my newsletter, a complaining subscriber, and a missed opportunity with a public relations person who might have helped my career. Rejections seemed to have built up behind a dam and flowed into my email all at once. I found it hard to practice my own preaching about positive attitude and always moving forward. One day I literally left the house and went for a walk to reorganize my thoughts and ponder personal goals. …

A Home Run On The First Pitch By Bryan Fields

I started a novel during my senior year of college. I re-started occasionally for the next twenty years, always feeling like I'd never be good enough to avoid rejection. My wife finally put her foot down. "You want to be a writer. WRITE." …

Listen, Learn and Publish By Lisa Tiffin

About a year ago, I sold my used book business, hung out the proverbial shingle, and embarked upon my lifelong dream of becoming a paid writer. I started with essays on homeschooling and parenting and quickly sold two to e-zines. A good start, I thought, but the fact was I longed for the day I would see my byline in soy ink and pulp. …

Don’t Give It Away By Linda White-Francis

Call it dumb luck or beginners luck, but when my first try at writing resulted in a fifty-dollar check for a twenty-five word true story I sent to a romance publication--about our talented dog Puff, it gave me reason to pause. Then when another $50 dollars arrived that same year for a small filler I wrote for a celebrity tab--about our adventurous bird Petey, I knew I wanted to be a writer, but not necessarily in the pet department. …

Pestered Into Submission By Karen Edmisten

A few years ago, while on a committee at my parish, I gave a talk that detailed my spiritual journey. A friend found the talk intriguing and repeatedly pestered me to get it published. "Uh-huh," I thought, "as if it's that easy..." But when I spoke with my spiritual director he also encouraged me to seek publication. Eventually, I sent my story off, assuming nothing would come of it. Although I'd always thought of myself as a writer, I'd long before given up thoughts of writing professionally. …

Personal Experiences Really Do Pay! By Katreen Hardt

Leafing through Jane Magazine at my local Barnes & Noble one afternoon, I came across a column entitled, It Happened to Me. It's a column in which readers are given the opportunity to submit a true story, approximately a thousand words in length, and, if printed, are paid $1000. (However, according to the magazine's website, http://www.janemag.com, writers are encouraged to "do it for the love.") …

My Success Story By Joei Carlton Hossack

Although it was eight years ago I remember vividly my decision NOT to give away any more of my books. Restless from the Start, my first baby, had recently been accepted for availability at one Barnes & Noble store in Sarasota, Florida because I would be doing a lecture on publishing and promotion there. The head office would put the book into their computer system and five copies would be ordered for Sarasota. …

Nagging, Negative Voice Be Gone! By Kristina Seleshanko

I had an idea for a new book - but the nagging, negative voice inside my head kept telling me I could never get it published. It was about weddings, and why would any publisher consider me for a book on weddings? Other than being married myself, what were my qualifications? Zilch. Zero. Nada. Nonetheless, the idea was always in the forefront of my mind. …

Travel Stories Evolve Into Travel Guide By Jim Postell

Travel Stories Evolve Into Travel Guide By Jim Postell

Sitting at my computer I proudly smile at a book. That may seem unusual, but on the cover of that book - in bold, yellow, capital letters is my name. After four years of research/writing, countless queries/rejections from publishers, regular advice from Angela's WritersWeekly, a surprisingly short contract negotiation, and a release date delayed for over a year, my book is out. …

Combining Writing with Other Talents By Claudia Carver

Since writers don't often get overpaid for their labor, most of us have to develop frugal shopping skills to survive. Did you ever think you might morph these talents into a regular gig with your local newspaper? I didn't - until persistence combined with luck to provide me with this little weekly bonus. …

Self-Publishing Leads to Traditional Contract By Tom Douglas

I am a former full-time journalist born and raised in Canada who went the freelance route a few years ago. That's one of the reasons I signed up to receive the very worthwhile (no apple-polishing intended) WritersWeekly. I read it faithfully every week and thus, when I first read about Booklocker.com's offer to digitally print my book at a reasonable price, including formatting, cover and help with distribution, I collected together a bunch of short stories I had written over the years (two of which had been published in Canada's largest daily newspaper, The Toronto Star and one that had received an honorable mention in the Writer's Digest Short Story contest). …

Purr-fect Tale By Nadia Ali

Trying to find something to write about that sells is always one of my stumbling blocks. You always hear it being said, that inspirations lies at your feet or, on this one particular day, my cat Cici draped across the top of my keyboard. And that's when it clicked. Why not try an article on a cat? After all I am a proud owner and one who has gone through enough adventures with Cici to share my knowledge with others. …

Give ‘Em What They Want By Barbra Annino

Browsing through an edition of WritersWeekly.com on my lunch hour, I spotted an ad for an advice columnist for Illinois Magazine. My corporate writing job paid the bills, but I always wanted to write creatively. The ad stated the editor was looking for someone who could write in a "witty, insightful, humorous tone." I had never written a column or was even published before, but I felt like this was right up my alley. I fired off a letter to the editor that outlined my background as a writer, bartender (who better to give advice?), and lifelong Illinoisan. I crafted the letter and two samples in the tone that she was looking for, but kept my own voice. …

A Writer’s Triumph By Diane Craver

Today was a great day! I didn't receive any rejections but I did receive a contract for $300 for a 300-word story from Woman's World Magazine! I'm sure you've seen it. Women's World is that weekly magazine with a diet and a cake on the cover. You might start glancing at it while you wait for the cashier to get to your groceries. Then you get interested in a story but don't get it finished and, since the price is only $1.49, you decide to buy it. Well, this woman's magazine pays well for their articles and fiction. And, yes, they use freelancers. …

If Other Writers Can Sell Their Work, So Can You! By Danielle Westvang

When you decided that you wanted to become a professional writer, did you visualize yourself at book signings or working for large publishing companies? Some may dream of writing a best seller, or perhaps even being published by a top magazine. My dream has always been to have my own column in a magazine or newspaper. …

Who’s Afraid of the Big Blank Page? By Daphne Dykeman

Having left full-time paid employment to become a mother, I still wanted to contribute in some way to the family budget. I saw that the local paper printed book reviews by a number of freelancers, and I felt that, with a degree in English and a passion for books, it would be a natural fit. I checked out the most recently printed book available at my local library and began thinking about my sample review. And continued thinking about it for four months. I played around with openings and phrases, but it was impossible to actually commit anything to paper. …

Is This a Joke? By Pamela V. Cain

When the call came from a publisher, I thought it was a practical joke, someone pulling my leg on my birthday. The message slip said to call Chronicle Books in San Francisco. I dutifully called the 415-area code and was connected to an editor. "I was wondering if you would like to write a book for us, "said the woman from one of the top publishing houses in the West. "What?," I stammered. …

Should You Submit to Publishers? By James Robert Daniels

Lin and Larry Pardey told me that they were the first authors who fired their publisher. They're sailing through life, literally aboard their sailboat and in a literary way as successful authors and publishers. When I fired my own publisher, I learned a lot - the hard way. The book began under contract with an ebook publisher. Just what every author wants - to get published. Except that I didn't like my contract. …

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